Copenhill, the multifunctional waste-to-energy plant in the capital of Hygge
Hygge is a Danish noun that means every action related to the sense of wellbeing, hospitality, comfort and safety. Untranslatable with a single word, it seems to contain in itself the secret of happiness.
My first encounter with this term dates back to a few months ago when I was planning my itinerary in Denmark, knowing about the places where I would be shortly
It is a social atmosphere that you can breath in every place of Denmark, it is the lifestyle that distinguishes it, that for years puts it on the top of the ONU happiest countries to the world ranking. It could not be otherwise considering that Danish society is based on the values of freedom, respect for others, sense of community and sharing the simple pleasures of life, so simple that the typical Danish dish is the Smørrebrød, a slice of buttered rye bread, usually garnished with salmon or herring, vegetables, boiled eggs and sauces (delicious!).
Being the Danish modus vivendi very close to my ideal lifestyle, I immediately loved Copenhagen, where riding a scooter is easier than walking and where design is an integral part of everyday life. Around the city you have the impression that for all Danes, regardless of income and education, a lamp by Poul Henningsen or a chair by Hans J.Wegner are a pleasure become an indispensable necessity, a bit like an espresso coffee for an Italian! And you only have to look through the windows to get proof.
That said, and adding that Copenhagen is one of Europe’s greenest cities aiming to become the world’s first zero-carbon city by 2025, I should not have been surprised in front of Copenhill and instead I could only open my mouth in front of his brilliance. This is the world’s most environmentally friendly waste-to-energy plant, inaugurated last October and designed by archistar Bjarke ingels.
Simultaneously waste disposal and recycling center and urban recreation center, it is the result of an intelligent cooperation between technology applied to sustainability, design and sports culture.
The innovation of the plant is given by its multifunctional essence. While its interior disposes of about 400,000 tons of waste per year, ensuring electricity to 60,000 homes and district heating to 160,000 houses, its roof is a green roof of 10,000 square meters organized in a descent about 600 m long that starts from a height of almost 90 m and arrives at ground level bending twice, where you can practice different sports in all seasons: hiking, running, crossfit, climbing and especially skiing.
Much of the descent is occupied by the ski slope which has three routes for three different degrees of difficulty and two ski lifts. The synthetic mantle that allows skiing all year round even without snow, is completely made in Italy, by Neveplast, an Italian company of Albano Sant’Alessandro (BG) which has developed and patented a new plastic material that does not undergo thermal expansion, with five shades of green in order to make the synthetic track as similar as possible to a natural lawn, and that is able to reproduce the same sensations as skiing in the snow. On top of the building a rooftop terrace and a cafe allow you to spend pleasant time even not practicing sports. The elegant continuous facade of Copenhill is composed of 1.2 m high and 3.3 m wide aluminium blocks which are arranged in a staggered way and alternated with glass sheets.
Nothing has been left to chance; thanks to the optimization of the resources, the total efficiency of the system is equal to 107%: the system of condensation of the steam of the fumes in two steps allows to recover the condensation heat, by increasing energy recovery by about 20 percentage points, new generation filters are able to retain all harmful dust and fumes; the ash produced can be used as components for road surfaces or for other uses in the construction field (after verification of compliance with the limits on the content of heavy metals), replacing natural resources such as sand and gravel; the cover absorbs heat by filtering pollutants and particulates and minimizing the outflow of rainwater.